CHAPTER XIX THE TOMBS: AN ADEPT'S SOLEMN MESSAGE THE second meeting duly took place in the ruined Temple of Luxor. I sat on a long block of stone carved with hieroglyphs, while the Adept squatted on cross-legs on the same block, and faced me. My note-book was prepared and, with pen poised expectantly, I was ready to take down his message; to inscribe on the white sheets the less picturesque characters of our twentieth-century system of hieroglyphs—shorthand! Ra-Mak-Hotep wasted no time on preliminaries but plunged straightway into the subject of his message: "Those who broke open the tombs of ancient Egypt have released forces upon the world that have endangered it. Both the tomb robbers of long ago and the archaeologists of our own days have all unwittingly opened the tombs of those who dealt in black magic. For in the final cycle of Egyptian history there was a great degeneration of the men of knowledge—the priesthood—and sorcery and the black arts were commonly practised: When the white light of truth which was formerly shining through the pure Egyptian religion became dimmed, and the noisome shadows of false, materialistic doctrines crept in to replace it, the practice of mummification arose,- together with all the elaborate accompanying rituals* Yet, under the misleading and cunningly perverted teachings which supported this practice, there was an element of secret self-interest which sought to keep a long-preserved physical link with the physical world through the embalmment of the body. ""This practice originally was intended only for the Adept-Kings of Egypt's prehistoric golden age, and for the spiritually advanced High Priests who were true channels of God, that their material bodies, impregnated with their holy power, might continue to exist and serve as focuses radiating that power into the world.